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Lessons from the past two years from a venture capitalist with Impression Ventures Founder and Managing Partner Christian Lassonde

Photo-Christian Lassonde
Christian Lassonde

Episode Summary

Although some venture capital firms snapped their wallets shut during the first few months of the pandemic, it quickly became apparent that the startups who were able to pivot their business model and go fully digital would not just survive this time period, but thrive. In this episode, Michael sits down with Christian Lassonde, the Founder and Managing Partner of Impression Ventures, to discuss lessons learned from the pandemic and why there’s hope for the future yet. As an entrepreneur himself, Christian applied the knowledge he gained from past experiences working in the video game and tech industry to his role as a venture capitalist today. He shares how the lessons he’s learned throughout his career have informed his work as a venture capitalist, why he’s not interested in a high profile, the importance of playing the long game in business, and much more.

Episode Notes

All problems are created equal
During his time as a video game programmer, Christian developed valuable problem-solving skills that he would later take with him into future roles. He learned that regardless of the subject matter or the industry you find yourself in, all problems are created somewhat equal, and finding the answers comes down to your passion, determination, and willingness to solve for X. Ultimately, Christian recognized that while there’s an infinite number of paths you can take while running a business, it’s all about finding the one magic formula that works for you. 

Fail fast
While building Claystone, an Android software development firm, Christian and his team were constantly inundated with the unofficial Silicon Valley mantra: “fail fast.” Taking this maxim to heart, they launched themselves into a continuous, fast-moving loop of test, launch, learn, iterate, and repeat. Christian says the lessons he learned from this experience ultimately made an indelible impression on his overall outlook, arming him with the tools and the repertoire he needed to launch Impression Ventures.

Equal parts optimism and cynicism 
Christian believes that a great venture capitalist should be equal parts optimist and cynic. He noted that without the fundamental belief that what lies ahead is greater than anything humanity has collectively experienced in the past, you likely won’t make it very far in the business. Overall, Christian is optimistic about the future, which fuels him to keep moving forward despite any challenges he may encounter along the way. 

CIBC Innovation Banking is a trusted financial partner to entrepreneurs and investors. Get in touch with our team at cibc.com/innovationbanking.

Show Contributors: 

Christian Lassonde

Impression Ventures

Michael Hainsworth


CIBC Innovation Banking